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Q&A with Health and Wellness Services Director Alice Holland

Alice Holland

The dating world can be difficult to navigate, especially around Valentine’s Day.

Without the right chemistry, all of the chocolate and flowers in world cannot save a failing date.

But how exactly do you develop chemistry in dating? According to Alice Holland, director of health and wellness services, it all comes down to “flirting intelligently,” a concept that she has developed throughout her career.

A nationally registered sexologist, Holland offers several tips for intelligent flirting.

·      Try a quasi-dangerous date, such as skydiving, riding a roller coaster, or watching a scary movie. “These activities activate stress hormones in the body,” says Holland. “When we do that, we also increase a neurotransmitter called Dopamine, and when we increase that, we increase attraction."

·      Develop conversational muscles. “Just like working out your biceps at the gym, you need to develop conversation skills,” she says.

·      Create an approachable you. “Have a relaxed posture, make eye contact, and smile."

·      Follow a simple quote: “Be yourself because everyone else is already taken."


Working in higher education, Holland offers these dating tips for college students.

“This is the time to learn about what type of relationship works for you," she says. "Remember to be yourself and communicate effectively and clearly.”

At the Worth Health Center, Holland and her team also guide and encourage students to navigate the labyrinth of health care.

The Health Center is an important aspect of campus. What is important for students to know?

We’re in the second year of transitioning away from an infirmary model to a holistic wellness model. So while we are available for acute visits when students aren’t feeling well, we also do a lot of prevention to maintain health. Our team includes physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, a registered dietitian, a wellness program manager, a staff assistant, a violence prevention educator and advocate, and an alcohol and other drug counselor. Together, we offer a wide array of comprehensive services, resources, and activities to our students: Travel consultations are available prior to study abroad, allergy shot clinics, reproductive health including screening and treatment, LGBTQ wellness, nutrition consults, counseling, healthy relationship education, and overall wellness management. An after-hours ‘on-call’ system is available so that students can speak with a registered nurse when the Health & Wellness Center is closed. 

How difficult is it to balance all of those services?

The key is maintaining flexibility. You think you have a schedule, but something can present of an acute nature that requires immediate attention. We sometimes have a lot of people in the waiting room but have to give precedence to someone coming in with a serious reaction or injury. So it can be a juggling act. But the constant is fostering an environment that is warm, welcoming, safe, open, inclusive, and confidential.

To what extent do students have a voice?

I am re-establishing a student health advisory council, to collaborate with students on ideas moving forward. I encourage students who are interested in the health advisory council to contact me. We also have educational outreach in residence halls and at events on campus, focused on topics that students recommend. We really are here for the students, to help them succeed in safe and healthful ways. So, it’s about listening to them.

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